Fri, Aug 03, 2007 - Page 22 News List

Stump mikes must be muted, England coach Moores says

AFP , NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND

England coach Peter Moores has revealed he is considering asking for the volume on stump microphones to be turned down so his side's "sledging" of India batsmen is no longer heard by television viewers.

During the ongoing Test series, which the tourists lead 1-0 heading into next week's third and final match at The Oval, fans tuning in to host broadcaster Sky's commentary have been able to hear the likes of England wicket-keeper Matt Prior trying to unsettle opposition batsmen.

But there are concerns that matters got particularly out of hand during India's seven-wicket second Test win here at Trent Bridge completed on Tuesday.

During the match India's Zaheer Khan was angered by the bizarre sight of jelly beans being left on the crease while he batted.

If it was a ploy to unsettle Khan, it backfired spectacularly with the left-arm quick's match haul of nine for 134 his best in Tests.

It was also noticeable how England fast bowler Chris Tremlett unsettled India by taking three wickets on Tuesday without the need for any verbal abuse.

However, England captain Michael Vaughan insisted the team's sledging policy was nothing more than gamesmanship and that his players had "not said anything untoward." Nevertheless Moores is concerned about the impression being created and may ask Sky, via match referee Ranjan Madugalle, to turn down the volume.

"There have to be some things which are left on the field to be fair to the players so they can actually go and play the game without worrying that everything they do and say is going straight into someone's lounge," he said.

"It's something we've discussed as a management team and we'll speak with the match referee," Moores said.

Regulations drawn up by the International Cricket Council (ICC) impose restrictions on when broadcasters can and and cannot use stump microphones.

The ICC policy says that microphones can be active while the ball is live, but must be turned off between deliveries unless a batsman is taking guard at the start of his innings.

That hasn't stopped plenty of Prior's remarks being broadcast this series but Moores defended the conduct of the keeper, whom he first coached at Sussex.

"If you take Matthew [Prior] as an example, he's consistent because that's how he plays his cricket. There is no point making noise for noises sake but we've talked before about trying to get England teams appear more up for the challenge," he said.

India weren't blameless at Trent Bridge with Shanthak-umaran Sreesanth, their fastest bowler, fined 50 percent of his match fee for barging Vaughan and causing further concern with a beamer bowled at Kevin Pietersen and a no-ball bouncer delivered after he'd overstepped the crease by several feet.

Madugalle, at the end of the second Test, made it clear he would be speaking to both sides regarding their behavior before the series finale gets under way at The Oval on Aug. 9.

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